BEIJING, (Xinhua) -- The
Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) has proven to be productive and
effective in boosting China-Africa cooperation, a Chinese special envoy said.
China’s ambassador for FOCAC affairs, said this in an interview with Xinhua
prior to the FOCAC Beijing Summit in September, expressing his confidence in the
FOCAC has grown into a dynamic mechanism with rich content and tangible results,
following the principles of sincerity, practical results, affinity and good
faith and the values of friendship, justice, and shared interests.
neither imposes its own will on others nor seeks its sphere of influence,” said
Zhou. “The concept of ‘extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared
benefits’ is upheld when China cooperates with African countries.”
founded in 2000 and its membership had grown to have China, 53 African countries
having diplomatic relations with China, and the African Union Commission as of
June 2018, according to the FOCAC website.
FOCAC framework, there are regular consultations at ministerial and
senior-official levels, and between the Chinese Follow-up Committee and the
African Diplomatic Corps in China. Sub-forums on business, youth, health and
poverty reduction, and many others, have also been set up.
held two summits gathering leaders of China and African countries, one in
Beijing in 2006 and another in Johannesburg in 2015.
“FOCAC is not
for idle words, but a platform to unleash real actions,” said Zhou.
diplomat, who spent years in Africa and served as the Chinese ambassadors to
Liberia and Zambia, said he had witnessed the development of FOCAC over the
It began with
small steps, with a focus on aid, trade, debt relief, personnel training but
gradually grew to a comprehensive platform that covers industrialization,
agricultural modernization, financing, green development, people-to-people
exchanges, and security.
FOCAC has won
wide support from African countries for its efficient enforcement means, clear
time-bound action plans, and an effective evaluation system, Zhou said.
attributed the mechanism’s effectiveness to the adequate funding. For example,
Zhou said, China pledged financing support amounting to 60 billion U.S. dollars
to implement the ten cooperation plans announced at the 2015 FOCAC summit in
also be funded by the Silk Road Fund or the BRICS New Development Bank.
Meanwhile, the Chinese government encourages trustworthy and competent Chinese
enterprises to invest in Africa.
ability to “walk the walk” and African countries’ active collaboration are key
to the success of FOCAC, Zhou said.
“That is why
FOCAC has earned wide recognition from African countries as well as the
international community, and expectations are high for the upcoming summit,”
The summit is
scheduled for September 3 to 4 in Beijing. Priorities and key directions for
China-Africa cooperation in the next three years will be announced.
A key aspect
to watch, Zhou said, will be how China and Africa link the Belt and Road
Initiative (BRI) with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the
African Union’s Agenda 2063, and African countries’ development plans.
“twin engines” of the BRI and FOCAC, China-Africa cooperation is poised to move
forward more steadily, faster and further.
confident that the summit will be a complete success,” said Zhou.
Cameroon looks forward to a fruitful FOCAC
YAOUNDE, (Xinhua) -- Michael
Fru, 49, looks proudly at his merchandise exhibited in front of his shop, Fru
and Sons Enterprise, in downtown Douala, the most populous city in Cameroon.
surface area of approximately 10,000 square feet (about 930 square meters),
Fru’s shop is one of the biggest in town.
sells household utensils, furniture, electronics, clothes, shoes, toys, furs and
car parts. “Everything you see here is imported from China,” Fru said.
In 2008, Fru,
then a struggling businessman, forged connections in China, and began travelling
to the Chinese cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen to buy goods.
off with a few thousand U.S. dollars, but now handles 400,000 to 500,000 dollars
in orders at a time.
“I travel to
China at least six times a year. I have sustained a mutually beneficial
relationship with my Chinese partners since 2008,” he said, describing China as
his “second country.”
Fru, one of
many Cameroonians who’ve benefited from a close relationship with China, hopes
that the upcoming Beijing summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC)
will push bilateral ties to a new high.
rapporteur at Cameroon’s Ministry of Economy and Finance, said economic and
trade cooperation between the two countries has yielded very positive results in
the areas of agriculture, technology, infrastructure, health and energy, since
1971, when Cameroon and China established full diplomatic relations.
Cameroonian President Paul Biya was the first African leader to visit China this
year. It was the sixth trip to China by the president.
a foreign affairs officer at Cameroon’s Ministry of External Relations, said the
FOCAC summit in Beijing is more than just Africa-China cooperation talks; it’s
about sitting down with one of Africa’s greatest partners.
Biya’s China visit in March “gave the reassurance of not only a friendly but
rich and fruitful Sino-Cameroon relationship that has existed for decades now,”
he said. “China has been very supportive in the areas of development and is a
strategic partner for the quest of emergence of Cameroon by 2035.”
visit, Biya made it clear that Cameroon is committed to enhancing strategic
cooperation with China, and welcomes more investment from China in such areas as
industry, agriculture, energy, transportation, social housing, and new
technology, Bambo said.
Mpoche, vice-dean of the Faculty of Modern Letters and Social Sciences of the
University of Douala, said the sectors highlighted by President Biya are
essential to Cameroon.
deals from FOCAC Beijing summit can significantly revamp the country’s economy,”
Mpoche said. “That is why, I think the Belt and Road Initiative is laudable.”
political scientist and CEO of St. Louis University Institute, says the FOCAC
could be a game changer for Cameroon if the country has a mindset geared toward
development, integrity and accountability.
“We have to
warm up the relationship based on what is at stake and what we want. We want to
bring something from FOCAC that will help us move ahead as a nation and as a
people,” Ngwanyam said.
the Cartel of Cameroon Entrepreneurs, known in its French acronym as GICAM,
close to 100 Cameroonian businessmen will visit China on the sidelines of the
Beijing summit, scheduled for early September.
businessmen traveling to China intend to seize the opportunity and sign deals
with Chinese private companies to “boost our cooperation and create more jobs
for the youths back home,” said Magloire, the rapporteur at Cameroon’s Ministry
of Economy and Finance.
For his part,
Ngwanyam said signing deals is not enough.
needs to learn from the best practices of China, he said. “We have to work with
China... to add value to our systems.”
give us something that is worth more than dollars,” Ngwanyam said.
bring back from China the capacity to create wealth and jobs in Cameroon,” he